Lidia Acosta's start in the plastics industry began as an intern for Saudi Basic Industries Corp.
"The plastics industry's impact … on the world is extensive; almost everything we use on a daily basis is with plastic. Our way of living is improved by plastic as it provides technological solutions," she said. "It has the ability to affect the world and touch individual lives — for example, in the health care industry. It creates a safer, sustainable and innovative way of living."
In 2020, as a senior customer representative, Acosta, 28, led the introduction of a new carrier to the team, which reduced costs, lowered rates and resolved the need for timely response, improved delivery and issue resolution. When she started her role in planning, she was the first to be onboarded and represented planning when it came to testing, inputting system logic and reporting. "I was proud of myself for diving into this startup phase and tapping into all sectors of planning," she said.
The role was new for the Americas region, combining replenishment and master planning together, which made it challenging training-wise.
"I reached out to various teammates globally to compile my training material," said Acosta, who is a senior analyst for PE master and replenishment planning for Sabic. "This supported the successful startup of our GCGV, Gulf Coast Growth Venture project, which was the largest polyethylene manufacturer of the world at the time, producing 1.3 million metric tons per year."
Acosta graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelor's degree in finance and minor in accounting.
Q: One of our criteria for Rising Stars is whether they are active in plastics industry, manufacturing or their community. How are you involved?
Acosta: I am actively working with the GCGV manufacturing process. We have weekly calls to ensure all production is going as planned and review any ongoing adjustments and improvements the plant is making to ensure it runs at its full potential. GCGV put a high importance from the project development phase to ensure they are "a good neighbor" and established a good neighbor program, which I am proud to work with. I also participate in volunteer opportunities with Sabic. We have programs for reaching out to schools and showcasing our roles to students.
Q: What has been the biggest impact/challenge on your career from the coronavirus pandemic?
Acosta: Supply chain challenges throughout the pandemic were visible in my role. We saw an increase in [the] need for quick solutions, outside thinking and innovative solutions to provide flexibility and continue our services. This combined allowed me to grow through the practice of actively proposing new ideas and solutions for gaps and opportunities we faced.
Q: If you were CEO of a company, what would you do first?
Acosta: I would ensure safety is the No. 1 priority, no matter what role you are in, because without this, it would create a negative work environment and employees would not function at their full potential. Once this is established, I would focus towards connecting with people, being relatable and accessible. People are the greatest assets a company has.